Cassopolis to welcome first marijuana dispensary

CASSOPOLIS — A new Cassopolis business has “high” expectations for success.

Marijuana dispensary Bud Express LLC, 901 E. State St., Cassopolis, is set to open within the week, pending the crossing of a few “T”s and the dotting of a few “I”s. When the business opens its doors to the public, it will be the first business of its kind in the village of Cassopolis.

“We are just really excited,” said Owner Darrell Pritt. “We feel privileged to be here.”

The inside of Bud Express is a sea of greenery, with plants jutting out from every available surface. Modern lighting and fixtures, in addition to multiple display cases, round out the space. Outside, the building is surrounded by a large parking lot to accommodate curbside orders.

According to Director of Operations Ryan Hansinger, the design of Bud Express is just one way the business plans to stand apart from the competition.

“Our main goal is to be a little different, and by different, I mean more on the educational side,” he said. “We want to make sure our customers are leaving with the correct product, not just a product. We want to have a diverse line of products and make sure people know their needs so that we can educate people on what can benefit them. … We truly want to be a professional asset to the community.”

Friday, the Cassopolis/Vandalia Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome the Bud Express to the community. Pritt said the warm welcome from the chamber only increased his excitement to be operational in Cassopolis.

“Cassopolis was just the right fit,” he said. “Through the growth of our industry, we will provide community service. We will provide things for the community, and I’d like it to turn into more than me. I’d like it to turn into a reputable industry.”

“We are really invested in the community,” Hansinger added. “We want to be a beacon for [Cassopolis]. We want to be super professional.”

Eventually, the business plans to expand. Already, construction has begun on a 15,000-square-foot cultivation facility, and the company also owns a 45-acre development on Labar Street. In 2021 alone, Hansinger estimated Bud Express would generate 75 new job opportunities.

“In the end, we are looking at upwards of 250 jobs,” Hansinger said.

However, before those things can happen, the business has to open to the public first. Both Pritt and Hansinger said they would be ready to welcome customers as soon as they are given the final go-ahead from the state.

“Our plan for the future is that we are going to abide by the principles we have had all along,” Hansinger said. “We are going to do things right. We are going to treat our customers right and give them a great experience. If we stay focused on the needs of the community, there’s no reason we can’t reach that level of success.”

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